There you were –

hiding on the clearance rack

in Marshall’s

feather-light black and white

Merrells marked down to $15


my mother would have snagged

you and bragged about you

for weeks on end


I picked you up and cradled you

twisted you

curved you

bent you  

tried you on

considered you carefully –

your ability to cooperate with

all the other players

no laces

full foot support

and – most importantly

covered toes for crowded

places where people squeeze


pack tightly together

inhale, exhale

the shared air

of every other passenger

unknowing carriers


“Want to explore Europe on a dime?”


you jumped straight out of the box

hugged my feet

like rescued puppies

held on tightly for the ride

for the next two weeks’

whirlwind world traveling


I chose you – and only you

the solitary pair

for my minimalist-minded

one-carry-on journey


you carried me


through airports

on night trains

on streetcars

on subways

on buses

on boats

and on foot

down city streets

you brought me face to face

with Big Ben

Westminster Abby

the Eiffel tower

the Brandenburg gate

the Colosseum

the Duomo

and the recently charred Notre Dame

that never struck us as fiery foreshadowing


you gripped your heels against the edge

of the Trevi Fountain as we

stood together

tossed one single coin


right hand over left shoulder

to guarantee a return visit

to these breathtaking streets


and never once

in all our adventures

did we stop and think,

“better savor every sight

of this window on the world

before it is forever changed” 








She’s wearing her prophetic shoes today

the ones she hasn’t  worn since her son’s wedding rehearsal


She’s wearing them because if in this

sci-fi  dystopian

novel of 2020 this is the rehearsal dinner


-the first day of school –


then she wants it to be as foreshadowing as his wedding

to his marriage

where life is beautiful


even though at the wedding she got

little drunk

and her fingers got slammed in the honeymoon trunk


She wishes she could remember it


apparently being drunk is a good thing

when your fingers get slammed in a trunk


And thank God it was a Lexus LS 400

because it had the weatherstripping cushion

all around the edges

which someone surmised 

softened the blow of the pain

with the slam of the trunk


She’s told her reaction words were very calmly stated –

nobody panic. I’m OK. somebody get the keys before they take off.


and the only reason she drunk-cried

on the way back to the hotel

was because she feared not being able to write again

and she needed those fingers


she needed them to write the stories


the happy stories

the painful stories

the memorable stories

the stories of disbelief

the stories of days she’d rather forget

the stories of days she never wants to forget

the stories of not exactly being the type to get drunk

but getting drunk because she couldn’t stand the sight

of her ex-husband

who was the one paying the open bar tab

so she felt it her duty to drink

as many drinks as she could

yes, one in each hand most of the night,

thanks to her stepson who kept her locked and loaded –

and anyway she dances so much better when she’s drunk

practically professionally, she’s told

-just like Elaine on Seinfeld 

when she saw the video on Facebook – 


yes, she’s wearing her prophetic shoes today

they’re sparkly coral-colored wedges

with flashy Rocaille beads on the flowery toe

and do not match anything else she’s wearing

just like all the other logical fallacies of Covid-19 in 2020


because despite slammed trunks and

kick-dancing drunks and

ex-husbands and their new hoochie-mama wives

who wear sling-shoulder black sequined dresses to a wedding –

a wedding! – (and people try not to stare, and whisper)-

and her own memories of all that a marriage shouldn’t be –

she knows that 

some shoes walk us straight into

better days